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  #11  
Old 11-07-2011, 01:11 AM
UnwittinglyPoly UnwittinglyPoly is offline
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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
This discussion is very familiar. Every so often someone comes along and starts a thread like this one, which will get tiresome very quickly, I believe. There are numerous discussions here on the merits of polyamory as compared to the evils of monogamy (as is usually posed by the OPs). They always wind up in a boring argument. Just do a search and I'm sure you'll find numerous posts that support your position as well as many that challenge it. Maybe all these anti-monogamy threads should be combined into a master "monogamy sucks" discussion.

*sigh*
Interesting. This is exactly the same type of response I got time and time again on religious forums, as I was going through the process of trying to determine whether my life-long faith actually had merit or was ill-placed. If I'm in the wrong place to be having a discussion where the first few responses don't answer the complexities of the subject, then by all means, I won't have these types of discussions here. As with my religious experience, I may have to go to something like an automobile forum in order to find people who are willing to plumb the depths of a subject like this, rather than a forum one would think would be full of people willing to do so without being so quickly bored. Oh, and to clarify--yeah, my track record shows that I'm willing to do a complete 180 on my thinking if the logic warrants it. Going from a life-long right-wing fundagelical extremist to an atheist bears that out. But such changes in thinking don't occur in places where people bore of such discussions. So maybe rather than trying to stifle such discussions, it might be helpful to meaningfully engage them beyond the pat answers that come from both sides.

Last edited by UnwittinglyPoly; 11-07-2011 at 01:20 AM.
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  #12  
Old 11-07-2011, 01:15 AM
UnwittinglyPoly UnwittinglyPoly is offline
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Originally Posted by gleegirl1203 View Post
Up until about 6 months ago, I would have identified myself as mono. I've been with my fiance for almost three years and before that I was in completely mono relationships. Not out of jealousy or the idea that it was the relationship structure that I was supposed to adhere to. It just felt right to me. I was happy loving one person. The idea that I could have the capacity to love more than one person at a time never occurred to me because the opportunity never presented itself. But in my mono relationships, jealousy wasn't something that was really an issue. Maybe because I chose to date people who weren't emotionally stunted? I don't know really. I've never had a problem discussing things like jealousy or other emotional things with my partners. Jealousy rarely came in to play. Perhaps because we were able to always discuss things so openly.

As far as promiscuity is concerned, I've never been overly promiscuous. I'm not saying that's true for everyone, I'm just speaking from personal experience in my relationships. Even when I wasn't in mono relationships, I never had the urge to "sleep around". I also don't equate promiscuity with polyamory. Polyamory, to me, is about more than just sex. Just because I happen to love more than one person doesn't mean I'm promiscuous.
Would you say you think you are the rule in monogamous relationships? The fact that you seem to no longer consider yourself monogamous, and are on a polyamory forum tend to indicate that you may not be.

And I completely agree with everything you said about promiscuity. I absolutely understand polyamory doesn't equal promiscuity, and that it's as much, if not more about non-sexual aspects of relationships than otherwise.
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  #13  
Old 11-07-2011, 01:23 AM
gleegirl1203 gleegirl1203 is offline
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Originally Posted by UnwittinglyPoly View Post
Would you say you think you are the rule in monogamous relationships? The fact that you seem to no longer consider yourself monogamous, and are on a polyamory forum tend to indicate that you may not be.
Perhaps I'm the exception to the "rule" of monogamy. I know that people aren't always capable of expressing their feelings (including jealousy) openly and honestly in relationships. I guess I've just been blessed to be able to discuss those issues with my partners, past and present.
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  #14  
Old 11-07-2011, 01:47 AM
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Originally Posted by UnwittinglyPoly View Post
So maybe rather than trying to stifle such discussions, it might be helpful to meaningfully engage them beyond the pat answers that come from both sides.
Or maybe, you could use the 'search' and 'tag' feature. It`s free. No fees.


To be honest, I tuned out after the 'Me-me-me I communicate this way, me-me-me' stuff.
I don`t think it`ll tire out though, people love to talk about themselves far to much.
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  #15  
Old 11-07-2011, 02:30 AM
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Liking or disliking a premise has nothing to do with whether it's logically sound, nor does a premise's implications (pathology in this case). Were it not for the fact that mono is almost exclusively reserved for a specific type of relationship (intimate), I wouldn't see it as something on the pathological end of the spectrum (though I wouldn't personally call it actually pathological). In almost every other type of personal relationship, it would be seen as ridiculous and arbitrary to limit them to a single person: friendship, children, etc. In the context of how humans relate to one another, the mono limit on intimate relationships is rather arbitrary, and it IS emotionally stunting, as it would be to arbitrarily limit friendships or children for other than practical reasons (limited time and resources). Largely, the driving factor behind limiting intimate relationships isn't a practical one, but rather an emotional one.

And certainly, it could be argued that polyamory is due to something on the pathological end of the spectrum, and it sometimes is. But in general it takes a lot of self-examination and moving beyond unhealthy things (if they are there) in order to come to a point where true polyamory is a viable option. And I would argue self-examination and moving beyond unhealty things ARE preferrable, not just for me but for most human beings. Of course, many monogamous people do self-examine and move past unhealthy things. But I don't think most do in the area that relates to why they are monogamous.

As promiscuity is hard-wired into our evolutionary nature, I would say the tendency to fight against it would be seen as more toward pathological, and the thoughtful, responsible embracing of it would be less so. Unfaithfulness doesn't really play into the idea of poly as much, because faithfulness is only invoked when an expectation of exclusivity is part of the equation--poly, by definition doesn't have an expectation of exclusivity, so having more than one intimate interest doesn't invoke unfaithfulness.

I dislike your premise because I find it to be illogical and I think implications in wording are important. I bet a lot of people on here don't consider themselves promiscuous just because they're poly. In the same way, a lot of monogamous folk aren't overly jealous people just because they're mono. I don't think poly or monogamy is pathological but the way you frame it makes it sounds like you think monogamy is less than or inferior to poly. Monogamy is not emotionally stunting. Some people may feel confined in it and maybe that's been your experience but who are you to speak for all humanity? Not everyone feels the need to have more romantic relationships. Some people are very happy with having one romantic relationship at a time. All relationships provide opportunities for growth both friendships and romantic ones. Do you think monogamy is inferior? Or am I reading into this? I think that both are VALID approaches and I find it odd that anyone would argue otherwise. It's like saying that's it's better to be gay or right handed.
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  #16  
Old 11-07-2011, 02:31 AM
opalescent opalescent is offline
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Originally Posted by UnwittinglyPoly View Post
I need to preface my main point with a note about the discussion style I'm going to use on this subject. Otherwise, I will likely be seen as bullheaded and agrumentative This is one of those things where I have an idea in my head, I've rolled it around and around and need to fully vet it and see which parts of it hold water and which ones don't. During that process, I'll make an assertion, examine feedback, note what I think has merit and what I think doesn't and make more assertions. Sometimes it might seem as though I'm not listening, but what I'm really doing is running the idea through the meat grinder, many times with a devil's advocate approach, and seeing what makes it out the other side. I assure you I have no problem ultimately admitting I'm wrong, in part or fully. I just have to run it through all the logic in my head first, and I've found the only way I can do that is to open up my thoughts to being challenged and to challenge responses. I always do my best to do so respectfully and gracefully
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Originally Posted by ray View Post
I dislike your premise because it seems to be making the assumption that polyamory is inherently more 'evolved' than monogamy. I think that poly can encourage personal growth and often does but so does monogamy and any healthy human relationship. Humans do have emotional needs and monogamy can be very rewarding. It's completely possible to confront jealousy and other emotional issues as an adult in any situation. Not everyone wants to be polyamorous. I think that those who feel like it enriches their life should go for it but that doesn't mean that everyone else is emotionally stunted and jealousy riddled. Saying that jealousy is a root of monogamy frames it as being almost pathological. To me, that's like saying promiscuity or unfaithfulness is the root of polyamory. Both are valid approaches to relationships.
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Originally Posted by UnwittinglyPoly View Post
Liking or disliking a premise has nothing to do with whether it's logically sound, nor does a premise's implications (pathology in this case).
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Originally Posted by UnwittinglyPoly View Post
Interesting. This is exactly the same type of response I got time and time again on religious forums, as I was going through the process of trying to determine whether my life-long faith actually had merit or was ill-placed. If I'm in the wrong place to be having a discussion where the first few responses don't answer the complexities of the subject, then by all means, I won't have these types of discussions here. As with my religious experience, I may have to go to something like an automobile forum in order to find people who are willing to plumb the depths of a subject like this, rather than a forum one would think would be full of people willing to do so without being so quickly bored. Oh, and to clarify--yeah, my track record shows that I'm willing to do a complete 180 on my thinking if the logic warrants it. Going from a life-long right-wing fundagelical extremist to an atheist bears that out. But such changes in thinking don't occur in places where people bore of such discussions. So maybe rather than trying to stifle such discussions, it might be helpful to meaningfully engage them beyond the pat answers that come from both sides.
UP, first some of my concerns. I will address your ideas in another post.

People here are more than happy to wrestle with diffucult, complex issues. But they generally aren't willing to always revisit the same argument over and over. Did you eyeball the threads that deal with monogamy vs. poly? Many of the ideas you posed come up in those threads - not framed exactly as you did, but still there. This doesn't mean you shouldn't pose it but be prepared for folks to point you to threads where similar ideas were discussed.

This is not an academic forum where such exercises are common. Not that people here don't have the brainpower or background to weigh in on an academic discussion but that simply isn't this forum's focus.

Also, you pooched your reply to Ray's response. "Dislike" meant she disagreed with your hypothesis; she then proceeded to offer logical arguments why. You certainly are not required to agree with her but it is polite to recognize when someone answers in the manner which you set up in your original post.

Finally, I submit to you that your underlying methodology is flawed - if one wants to get academic. The questions with which you are wrestling - religion, relationships, sexuality - are precisely the ones particularly resistant to logic and the scientific method. They attempt to address in various ways what it means to be human, and what it means to be a moral human. Does that mean that science and logic have no place in these discussions? Of course not. I find the arguments presented in "Sex at Dawn" to be compelling. But they are not conclusive and will likely never be definitively proven given that the answers are in so far in the past. Science can certainly inform these discussions. But science and logic cannot answer questions like these because they edge into morality, ethics and philosophy - what is it to be human, and to be a moral human?

Now like any good academic, I want to add a caveat. Obviously this method works for you personally to wrestle with the big questions. You mentioned using it to resolve some religious identity questions. Yet, for many people, maybe most, logic and scientific method are ultimately not useful to resolve these type of questions.
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  #17  
Old 11-07-2011, 02:31 AM
UnwittinglyPoly UnwittinglyPoly is offline
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Originally Posted by SourGirl View Post
Or maybe, you could use the 'search' and 'tag' feature. It`s free. No fees.


To be honest, I tuned out after the 'Me-me-me I communicate this way, me-me-me' stuff.
I don`t think it`ll tire out though, people love to talk about themselves far to much.
Wow, I didn't think a preemptive explanation--which I'm pretty sure I would have had to give at some point, based on every sincere, in-depth discussion I've ever had on every forum on which I've been--would be seen as me-me-me. I was under the mistaken impression that letting people know where I'm coming from and how I process things would be a good thing. I'm sorry I made you read through two pages of a post to which you obviously indeed tuned out after the first paragraph. Can I ask if you always tune out to posts where people are talking about themselves, or is it only when related to certain subject matter?
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  #18  
Old 11-07-2011, 02:47 AM
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UnwittinglyPoly obviously has a bias against monogamy and feels that any monogamous relationship is fear-based and unhealthy. Gah!

Look, any relationship is as healthy as the people in it. Neither polyamory nor monogamy is superior to the other - it's all about the people involved and how well they can relate to, nurture, support, and care about each other within whatever boundaries or structure for their relationships they so choose.

Nothing to do with how I operate in relationships has anything to do with whether my relationships are poly or mono. I am still me in all my relationships.
Well, there we go... I'm bored already. Have a fun discussion.
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  #19  
Old 11-07-2011, 04:52 AM
UnwittinglyPoly UnwittinglyPoly is offline
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opalescent, thank you for your reply. I did eyeball a few threads (there are few with the mono vs. poly tag). And the fact that they aren't framed exactly as I framed it is why I started a new thread. If everyone would like, I will gladly move the discussion to an already-existing thread.

While I understand the focus of this forum isn't academic, I would say that it doesn't need to be. As mentioned earlier, the most effective, in-depth, informative discussions I've had regarding religion were on an automobile forum, of all places. Arguably less academic and certainly less philosophical than here, and orders of magnitude less pertinent to that subject matter than this forum is to the subject at hand.

I think I did at least rudimentarily address Ray's arguments by my discussion of how what she was saying is equally evolved may not be (but rather, based on arbitrary conditions).

And I don't think the use of logic is flawed, even in matters of religion and philosophy, especially since logic is fundamentally a discipline of philosophy. I do understand that some things are matters of the heart and aren't necessarily fully apprehended most effectively through logic. However, even in those matters, there are major parts surrounding them that are. For instance, in religion there are things such as whether a global flood has actually occurred, whether a certain holy book is accurate, whether a god who is described as X but is said to do Y makes any sense, etc. And the same goes with this discussion. If in fact a majority of monogamous people don't hold to monogamy out of some level of insecurity, that should be pretty easy to point out. The problem in these types of philosophical discussions is that most times people tap out using the "it's a matter of the heart/faith/human existence" card much sooner than is warranted, giving up on the logic well before it's run its course. In my experience of past discussions, this almost always occurs because people run out of arguments to support their position. I find it exceedingly strange that forums dealing specifically with a certain topic have been the least effective in finding people who won't tap out early regarding the subjects those forums are about. This one is appearing to be no exception. I've found that logic can in fact resolve much more than a lot of people will allow it to. And the fact that people are putting forth logical arguments in this thread indicates that logical arguments are in fact warranted. But apparently some are only willing to go so far as their notions aren't challenged. But that's what my purpose here is--to open up my ideas and have them directly challenged to the fullest degree possible. And it looks like I'm in the wrong place for that, because after less than a day, people are already playing the intellectual equivalent of the religious "you just have to have faith" card. Regardless of the fact that the forum isn't dedicated to academic ventures per se, I find it quite odd.

Last edited by UnwittinglyPoly; 11-07-2011 at 05:11 AM.
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  #20  
Old 11-07-2011, 05:10 AM
UnwittinglyPoly UnwittinglyPoly is offline
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Originally Posted by ray View Post
I dislike your premise because I find it to be illogical and I think implications in wording are important. I bet a lot of people on here don't consider themselves promiscuous just because they're poly. In the same way, a lot of monogamous folk aren't overly jealous people just because they're mono. I don't think poly or monogamy is pathological but the way you frame it makes it sounds like you think monogamy is less than or inferior to poly. Monogamy is not emotionally stunting. Some people may feel confined in it and maybe that's been your experience but who are you to speak for all humanity? Not everyone feels the need to have more romantic relationships. Some people are very happy with having one romantic relationship at a time. All relationships provide opportunities for growth both friendships and romantic ones. Do you think monogamy is inferior? Or am I reading into this? I think that both are VALID approaches and I find it odd that anyone would argue otherwise. It's like saying that's it's better to be gay or right handed.
ray, I'm not arguing that some number of monogamous people aren't overly jealous. I also don't think monogamy is an invalid choice. I DO think that attitudes based on things such as jealousy, insecurity and fear ARE inferior to attitudes based on those things not existing--by definition, because jealousy, insecurity and fear are largely unhealthy.

As to a lot of monogamous people not being overly jealous--if you picked 100 people randomly off the street and asked them, "If your significant other had strong romantic feelings for another person, how would you feel?", the overwhelming majority of responses would be something between "hurt" and "devastated". Do you disagree with this? If so, on what basis? If you do agree that would likely be the case, on what would the hurt/devastation be based if not jealousy, insecurity, etc?

If I was saying poly is superior to mono, then the gay/right hand scenario would come into play. That's not what I'm saying. I am saying I think the drivers generally behind mono are in many ways less healthy than the drivers generally behind poly. To put it in terms of your argument, I'm not saying that being right-handed is superior to being left handed, I'm saying being right-handed is superior to using your left hand because you have an arbitrary, fear-based aversion to using your right hand (that analogy probably breaks down faster than I'd like, but hopefully you get the idea).

Last edited by UnwittinglyPoly; 11-07-2011 at 05:18 AM.
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